Fred Mcfeely Rogers Mister Term Paper

Pages: 6 (1644 words)  ·  Bibliography Sources: ≈ 17  ·  File: .docx  ·  Level: College Senior  ·  Topic: Children

Fred Roger's neighborhood has become everyone's neighborhood. It is a soft-spoken environment of inner feelings and the safe exploration of world. He taught his audience, his neighbors, to appreciate the small things in life and to acknowledge the beauty of every day. Fred Rogers was the epitome of human decency.

The World According to Mister Rogers" includes chapters such as "The Courage to be Yourself," "Understanding Love," "The Challenges of Inner Discipline," and "We are All Neighbors." Released in October 2003, Rogers' book is filled with inspirational wisdom and love of humankind. Just like his television program, Fred Rogers' book is dedicated to encouraging everyone, everywhere, to better understand and appreciate the not only one's own personal world, but the world at large as well.

Although Rogers' message may appear simplistic, it is nonetheless profound and void of any sugar-coated sentimentality. Rogers was perhaps the first self-help media guru. Long before the bookstores were lined with self-discovery literature, Mister Rogers was captivating generations of children and parents alike and teaching them to love themselves for who they were, not for who they wanted to be or should be or could be or would be. Rogers writes, "Discovering the truth about ourselves is a lifetime's work, but it's worth the effort" (Rogers 13). Rogers knew that life is filled with challenges and learning is a lifetime journey of discovery.Get full Download Microsoft Word File access
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Term Paper on Fred Mcfeely Rogers Mister Rogers Assignment

The main themes of Rogers' message were the recognition of feelings and acceptance of oneself and others. He writes, "It takes strength to talk about our feelings and to reach out for help and comfort when we need it" (Rogers 15). It was not in Rogers' character to belittle anyone for anything at any time. He made it clear that failure was simply an element of learning and by no means was the result of weakness. According to Rogers, "Some days, doing the 'best we can' may still fall short of what we would like to be able to do, but life isn't perfect - on any front - and doing what we can with what we have is the most we should expect of ourselves or anyone else" (Rogers 14).

Everyone is subject to failure, whether small or great, however, it is merely an experience of life, and does not make anyone at any time a lesser person, a lesser human undeserving of love.

In a review of Rogers' book, Tim Madigan cites Rogers' quote about heroes,

They're the kind of people who help all of us come to realize that 'biggest' doesn't necessarily mean 'best,' that the most important things of life are 'inside' things, like feelings and wonder and love - and that ultimate happiness is being able sometimes, somehow, to help our neighbor become a hero, too" (Madigan Pp).

Madigan describes that beside the chair in Rogers' office was a saying in French from Saint-Exupery's children's classic, "The Little Prince," which read, "L'essential est invisible pour les yeux" (Madigan Pp). Translated, the phrase means "What is essential is invisible to the eyes" (Madigan Pp). Rogers' wife, Joanne, related that her husband continuously sought the "essential invisible" in everyone he met, and that although he knew there are "crazies out there," he always looked for ways to highlight the good, and often said, "How can we make good attractive" (Madigan Pp).

There were two other plaques on the wall in Rogers' office, one was in Hebrew that translates as "I am my beloved's and my beloved is mine," and the second is the Greek word agape (Belcher-Hamilton Pp). In a 1994 article by Lisa Belcher-Hamilton, Rogers related, "One of the most important people at PTS (Pittsburgh Theological Seminary) was my Greek professor, William F. Orr" (Belcher-Hamilton Pp). Rogers studied with Orr for thirty years and during the last years of his life, when Orr was bedridden in a nursing home, he tells how Orr's wife took the noon bus every day to visit him and stayed until eight at night when a friend would pick her up (Belcher-Hamilton Pp). Rogers recalls, "The love between them seemed to deepen every day. To feel so much love in such a small room, for me, is truly sensing the presence of God" (Belcher-Hamilton Pp).

Rogers' children program "Mister Rogers' Neighborhood" provided excellence in children's programming for decades, beginning in 1967 (Fred Pp). His approach and content were unique to children's programming, especially commercial television which was generally animated and fast paced (Fred Pp). Rogers' simply talked to his young audience and focused on "acknowledging the uniqueness of each child and affirming his or her importance," rather than teaching specific facts or skills (Fred Pp). The hallmark of his program was to create a warm friendly atmosphere in which children felt safe and secure enough to create their own fantasies (Fred Pp). Rogers' program was designed to "approximate a visit between friends and was meticulously planned in consultation with psychologists at the Arsenal Family and Children's Center, under the direction of Margaret B. McFarland until her death in 1988 (Fred Pp). To create a bond with his audience, Rogers always spoke directly to the camera and always in "an inclusive manner about things of interest to his viewers" (Fred Pp).

And Rogers always spoke slowly, allowing time for children at home to think about what he had said and to respond in their own way (Fred Pp). Psychologists who have studied his program verify that children do positively respond to Rogers' warm approach which allows him to explore personal subjects, such as fears of the dark or the arrival of a new sibling (Fred Pp).

Mister Rogers' Neighborhood" was the longest-running program on public television, running thirty-three years until it ended in 2001 (Medal Pp). Its popularity was due simply to Rogers' approach and outlook on life. Rogers said, "The whole idea is to look at the television camera and present as much love as you possibly could to a person who needs it" (Medal Pp). It is little wonder that Fred Rogers was the recipient of every major award in television and education, and received honorary degrees from more than forty colleges and universities (Medal Pp).

Fred McFeely Rogers was born in 1928 in Latrobe, Pennsylvania (Highlights Pp). He graduated from Rollins College with a degree in music composition in 1951 and that same year began hosting "The Children's Corner" with Josie Carey, which won the Sylvania Award for the nation's best locally produced children's show in 1955 (Highlights Pp). Rogers became an ordained Presbyterian minister in 1963 and that same year debuted a Toronto program called "Mister Rogers" (Highlights Pp). In 1964, Rogers returned to Pittsburgh and began "Mister Rogers' Neighborhood" which eventually debuted on PBS in 1968 and won its first Emmy Award (Highlights Pp). That same year Rogers was appointed chairman of the Forum on Mass Media and Child Development of the White House Conference on Youth (Highlights Pp).

Fred Rogers was the same identical person off-screen as his television persona, "a reassuring adult who was not only happy to sit and talk, but one who managed to live out his entire life without the slightest whisper of scandal" (Fred Rogers Pp). This innate consideration to humanity is what made his program so unique, for he wrote the scripts, the music, the dialog between the players and all of the songs for "Mister Rogers' Neighborhood" (Fred Rogers Pp). Each program conformed to a simple pattern that encouraged a deeper understanding of the outside world (Fred Rogers Pp). Even the act of arriving in a suit and tie and then changing into a sweater and sneakers was to mirror what a child might witness in his own parents when they come home from work (Fred Rogers Pp). Rogers ended his program each day by saying, "you've made this day a… [END OF PREVIEW] . . . READ MORE

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